The Pixel Project is proud to present our third annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2016. The annual campaign runs throughout the month of May 2016 and features an interview per day with a survivor of any form of violence against women (VAW) including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, forced/child marriage, sex trafficking, breast ironing etc. A total of 31 VAW survivor stories will be featured. This campaign was created to provide:
- VAW survivors a platform to share their stories and solutions/ideas on how they rebuilt their lives and healed/are healing.
- Girls and women currently experiencing or who have survived VAW ideas, hope, and inspiration to escape the violence and know that there is light at the tunnel and there is help out there.
Our twenty-ninth 2016 Survivor Stories interview is with Tracie Tucker from the USA.
The Survivor Bio:
I am the founder/director of a local support group for domestic violence victims and survivors that meets weekly and we are celebrating our one-year anniversary this month. I have a full-time job as a legal assistant and plan to go back to college for psychology to help domestic violence survivors. I live in South Texas with my son and boyfriend of over 2 years and am in a happy and healthy relationship. I love working outdoors, in the yard and garden, but most of all, my favorite thing to do is saltwater fishing.
1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?
I was married to an abuser for four years who physically, sexually, emotionally and financially abused me.
2. How did you escape the violent situation/relationship/ritual?
I pressed charges, had him arrested, got a protective order, divorced him, then assisted law enforcement in prosecuting him on felony domestic violence charges.
3. How did you heal and rebuild your life after the violent situation/relationship/ritual? What actions did you take?
My abuser was incarcerated for a long time after I left him. It wasn’t until he was released on parole that I realised that I needed to cope with everything and that I needed help.
Conventional counselling just didn’t fit me, so I began a support group for domestic violence victims and survivors. Healing alongside others who understand, and public speaking on behalf of survivors have proven to be therapeutic for me.
In addition to that, I have begun faith-based counselling with my pastor. Faith-based counselling is very important to me, especially when trying to control anxiety, anger and depression.
4. What would you suggest to or share with another woman or girl facing the same situation as you did?
Your life is more valuable than your abuser has led you to believe. There is a better, healthier, happier option than staying in a destructive and abusive relationship. If you do not know what resources are available in your community for victims of domestic violence, contact your local law enforcement’s crime victim liaison, they know and they will share their knowledge with you whether or not you choose to press charges against your abuser.
Leave the first opportunity you get! While he is working, sleeping, in the shower, whatever the case may be – just leave. Clothes, furniture, vehicles are all material, your life is what matters most. If you cannot get those items safely now, you can get new ones later.
Join a support group with other survivors so that you may lean on each other and you will understand that you are not alone and there is hope. PUT YOUR LIFE FIRST, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN! If you do have children, just having them in the same household as one with domestic violence is considered child abuse/neglect and the state can and will remove your children if notified and you choose to continue to stay in an abusive home with your children.
5. How do you think we can end violence against women?
It is imperative to have absolutely ZERO TOLERANCE for violence against women! At the first sign, press charges and leave.
6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?
I support The Pixel Project because I am a survivor, and I know and understand how important it is to have as many resources as possible for awareness of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.